Democrats and the liberal media have stepped up their effort to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election. They have begun carefully stage-managed televised hearings into the CIA-initiated impeachment frame-up against President Donald Trump, claiming his efforts to push the Ukrainian government to probe corruption there are “bribery.”
They say the administration withheld military aid to the Ukrainian government to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky to look into the firing of Viktor Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor general, based on secondhand accounts of a phone call between the two presidents by an anonymous CIA “whistleblower.”
Shokin was fired when then Vice President Joe Biden — the Barack Obama administration’s “point man” for Ukraine — demanded his ouster, threatening to withhold billions in aid from Washington. The prosecutor was investigating Burisma Holdings, a company that had put Biden’s son, Hunter, on its board at $50,000 a month.
The real target of the witch hunt is the U.S. working class, who the Democrats hold responsible for the election of President Trump. They claim workers are racist and reactionary — “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton called them — and have to be controlled. But the fact is Trump was elected by workers who had voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012, hoping to get some relief from the effects of the capitalist economic crisis. In 2016 they backed Trump for the same reason.
The public hearings were set up by weeks of private sessions, followed by leaks intended to sound damaging for the administration. The first two witnesses, U.S. Charges D’Affaires for Ukraine Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, admitted they had no firsthand knowledge of Trump’s call to Zelensky, but still shared the Democrats’ concerns about what they heard the president had said.
Their testimony got banner headlines in the New York Times and other papers that campaign for the president to be impeached and indicted. The Times told the administration to admit its “offense.” But in fact all U.S. administrations wield Washington’s unmatched economic, military and political clout to pressure other governments to the benefit of the U.S. capitalist rulers.
Is there a Ukraine ‘affair’?
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told the media Nov. 14 that he saw no connection between Trump’s request and the withholding of U.S. military aid. Zelensky never granted the probe Trump requested and Washington resumed its military aid to Kyiv Sept. 11.
Trump’s policy towards Ukraine is little different from the approach of the Democratic administration of Barack Obama. When Moscow seized Crimea, after the massive working-class Maidan protests brought down the subservient regime of then President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014, Obama announced Washington wouldn’t intervene because “Ukraine is not a member of NATO.”
Like Obama, Trump has maintained sanctions on Moscow. Unlike Obama he has authorized weapons sales to the Ukrainian government. Like all of Washington’s military “aid,” it is sent to advance the interests of the U.S. rulers. The last thing they want is a revival of struggles by workers and farmers there.
From the day Trump took office, the liberal press and the Democrats have worked ceaselessly to depose him. They organized former FBI Director William Mueller to head up a two-year-plus “investigation” into their charge that Trump colluded with Moscow to steal the election. Mueller finally had to admit he had nothing.
Now they’ve latched onto the Ukraine affair and opened the impeachment “inquiry,” less than a year before the next presidential election. Many Democrats rightly fear that if they have to contend with Trump in 2020 they stand a good chance of losing. This isn’t because workers are reactionary, but because none of the 17 Democratic presidential candidates have anything to offer.
Even the Times admits most workers aren’t following the hearings, but are “tuning it all out.”
Some bourgeois commentators worry that the deeply partisan impeachment drive will damage the two-party system that has served the capitalist rulers for decades. They rely on it as a way to channel working people’s discontent with governments that defend the bosses interests by offering us the “choice” of voting for the “lesser-evil.”
“It’s hard to see how impeachment redounds to either party’s benefit,” complained Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel, saying it only exacerbates declining trust in all politicians.
The methods used in the liberals’ witch hunt against the president are a danger to the working class. Their use of anonymous accusers from Washington’s spy agencies, secret hearings, smears and leaks in place of evidence, barring the accused from confronting his accuser, are all aimed at trying to turn a political opponent — in this case a rival capitalist politician — into a criminal.
These are the methods the capitalist rulers and their cop agencies have used against communists and other fighting workers for decades. And they will be again in the years to come as working-class struggles pick up in response to the deepening capitalist crisis.